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Dive Review of Cane Bay Dive Center/Cane Bay Reef Club in
Virgin Islands/St. Croix

September, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Gary Welna, NE, USA
Report Number 2070
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
All over the Caribbean, Florida, Galapagos Is.; Lakes & Sand pits in
the Midwest
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, choppy  
Water Temp
85   to 86    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 50    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
All dives accompanied by a Dive Guide.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
Rinse tank at the Dive shop for cameras only.  Staff would store camera in
their office for security, if asked.  Boats are small inflateables for 4-6
divers.  Recommend you hold the camera during boat trips.  Boat trips were
very short, not a problem.  Boat captain would hand camera to divers when
they were situated in the water; and retrieve them 1st think upon returning
to the boat.  Entries & exits were extremely easy.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
2 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
3 stars    
There are two types of Dive operators on St. Croix.  One is your typical
"Cattle Boat" diving.  The other is 4-6 diver inflatable rafts.

We opted for the small rafts.  We figured less divers, less chance of
getting stuck with beginners, and more personalized service.  The other
factor is that almost ALL diving is within a few minutes of shore.  Believe
me, these "pangas" are not comfortable.  But for the most a 15
minute boat trip to the dive sites was certainly bearable.  On the plus
side, these "pangas" had a zippered floor in the bow (front). 
You sat on the floor in the middle of the boat, the dive guide helped you
suit up.  You slipped into the water, and started diving.  On exit, you
surface inside the boat, the boat captain takes your BC/tank.  You scoot
onto the boat, and take off your fins.

Water temp was 85 deg., very little current, and 1-3' waves.  Visibility
ranged from 30-50', probably due to all the tropical storms in the Atlantic
and Caribbean this year.

You go down the mooring line, and follow the guides over the wall, go east
or west until down to 1500 psi, then turn back towards the mooring line on
top of the reef.  The walls start between 40-60' from the survace.  Back at
the mooring line, you were free to look around until you were down to
500-600 psi, to do your safety stop.

The coral and sponges were the healthiest I've seen in 15 years of diving. 
Adult (large) fish life was practically non-existant.  Juvenile fish was
plentiful with more species than than I've seen almost anywhere else.

There are three main dive areas on St. Croix.  The West end (Fredrickstead,
North Center (Cane Bay), and West of Christianstead (Salt River).  Cane Bay
and Salt River are very similar.  Cane Bay is the easiest to dive from the
pangas.  It also has the easiest shore diving.  The reefs are about 100
yards from shore.  (Cane Bay also has one of the nicest sand beaches. 
There is a dive operator and resturant within walking distance.

Cane bay has 20 or more moored dive sites.  However, between three choices,
they are essentially ALL the same!

First, straight out from Cane Bay beach, is a sand flat, with lots of small
to med. coral bommies.  Thats where the dive guides will show you several
sea horses.  This is always a shore dive; and the night dive.

West of Cane Bay beach is a wall with lots of canyons; and is generally
deeper than to the east.  

East of Cane Bay beach are several dive sites, which are essentially all
the same, with the exception of pinnicles and a couple of trenches.

Cane Bay Dive Center is right across the street from Cane Bay beach.  My
experience with them was great!  From talking with other divers who had
dove with other dive operators, they all said they'd only dive with Cane
Bay from then on.  Cane Bay Dive Center will dive all three dive areas on
St. Croix.  On the west end, and Salt River, they take the pangas to the
dive area, and take the divers to meet them in a van.  Easy, and
comfortable.  Dive sites are within 5-15 minutes from shore.  The dive
center is not a modern large retail center; however, they have just about
everything you could need.  We stored our dive gear in their class
room/locker room every night.  Gear prices and T-shirt prices were
reasonable to good.  Service was excellent.  Cameraderie after a day of
diving - well, we had a good time every evening, at the Dive shop, and at
Cane Bay Reef Club, where we were staying.  

The resturant/bar at Cane Bay Reef Club seemed to be one of the more
popular night spots.  Food was excellent, and very reasonable.  ($20.00
lobster dinners).

The condo units at Cane Bay Reef Club were large and comfortable.  Each and
satelite/cable TV, with lots of channels.  The units could use some
renovation.  Ants were in the bathroom and kitchen.  The air conditioners
were good in one unit, but not adequate in the end units.  The end units
are considerably larger than the inside units.

Other than a place to eat/sleep, there is not much else to do at Cane Bay
Reef Club.  However, it is the most convenient to Cane Bay diving, and
central to Frederickstead, Christianstead, the Airport, and touristing at
the Cruzan Rum factory, Botanical gardens, and Plantation museums.

For luxury accomodations with similar location convenience, stay at
Carambola Golf & Tennis resort, (at twice the price).

We were disappointed in the "run down" condition of most of the
island, and the crime warnings about theft and assaults.  Prices on the
other hand, were more comparable to the states, than any other island I've
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All Virgin Islands Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Virgin Islands
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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